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A few days ago, it was barely news that the biggest Ebola outbreak on record was pulsing its way across West Africa. Things have changed. 

Following the deaths of 700 people and the terrifying spread of the disease into four countries, the fear picked up after two Americans were reported infected last week. Then two American Peace Corps volunteers were exposed and isolated. Then the Peace Corps removed its volunteers. Travel warnings were issued.

It was around then that those classic tune-in-to-find-out questions started:

And then, despite the attempts of some to moderate with facts the fear of what might happen if someone with Ebola arrived in the United States, we were primed for a panic by a Drudge siren:

And now, of course, with the arrival in Atlanta of Dr. Kent Brantly, described as "the 33-year-old Indiana physician who contracted Ebola while battling it in Liberia," the grand flip out is underway. 

Of course, the facts are that the virus, while incurable, doesn't spread through the air. And it's much easier to treat and contain in developed countries. That's why Brantly — the doctor who asked that an experimental serum be given to an American aid worker instead of him — is here. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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